Local MP visits Affinity

Local MP visits Affinity

On Friday 28th May 2021, Dr Caroline Johnson MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham visited Affinity Flying Training Services based at RAFC Cranwell.

Affinity is a joint venture between Elbit Systems UK and KBR Inc, responsible for delivering the fixed-wing training aircraft for the UK MOD’s Military Flying Training System programme (MFTS). Affinity has three UK sites: RAFC Cranwell, RAF Barkston Heath Lincolnshire and RAF Valley, North Wales.

Dr Caroline Johnson met with Iain Chalmers, Managing Director and Accountable Manager for Affinity. After a tour of the modern facilities and a look at the Grob Prefect 120TP and Embraer Phenom 100 aircraft which are based at Cranwell, Iain gave an insight into how Affinity supports the MFTS programme. He also shared with Dr Johnson, that as a relatively new Small & Medium-Sized Enterprise, engagement with the community, supporting local employment and developing our key asset; our people, is vital to our continued growth.

From left to right: Mark Damme, Affinity Driver/Handler; Dr Caroline Johnson MP; Affinity Managing Director Iain Chalmers; and Sam Craft, Affinity Aircraft Technician. Photo: Copyright Affinity Flying Training Services May 2021.

There was also the opportunity to hear from some of our valued members of staff, including Driver/Handler Mark Dammes, who has recently passed a two-year BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, with distinction, as well as Sam Craft, one of our Aircraft Technicians, who recently embarked upon his Licensed Engineering training course to become a B1 Licensed Aircraft Engineer.

They both shared their careers aspirations with Dr Johnson, and how Affinity is keen to support their professional development.

Affinity was established in 2016, and since then has grown rapidly. With a 150 UK wide strong workforce, the business places a strong emphasis on encouraging and developing employee skills and supporting its team with various training opportunities; from Apprenticeships to Qualified Engineers, Zero to Hero and Professional courses.  Affinity also has close ties with the Jon Egging Trust and is passionate in supporting youngsters on their career journeys. The business is also part of The EBP Lincoln Imp Trail taking part this summer and is supporting the William Alvey Primary School in Sleaford, who are designing an aircraft themed Imp.

From left to right: Alex Davison, Affinity Business Operations Director; Affinity Managing Director Iain Chalmers; and Dr Caroline Johnson MP.. Photo: Copyright Affinity Flying Training Services May 2021.

Dr Caroline Johnson commented “To see what Affinity is bringing to my local constituency was fantastic. Their passion for supporting the local community is great to see and their support of the MFTS Programme is paving the way for future aircrews to progress successfully through their training and careers. I’d like to thank Iain and the team for taking the time to show me how they operate here today

Affinity Managing Director iain Chalmers shows Dr Caroline Johnson MP a Grob .120 TP Prefect.

Iain Chalmers, Affinity Managing Director commented: “To allow our local MP an insight into what we do here in Lincolnshire is crucial as it not only demonstrates how we are passionate about supporting employment and engaging with our community, but also how we carry out our operations on a daily basis and how we are dedicated to our values – people, partnership, performance and safety – in everything that we do. I’d like to thank Dr Johnson for taking the time to visit our operations today.